Tips for a fun and safe holiday party

If you’re thinking about hosting a holiday party this season, don’t forget to take some time to make it as safe as possible.

Unfortunately, all sorts of unexpected risks come with hosting a holiday season party. Here are some tips from, one of the world’s leading online sources for legal information, about how to host a fun, but safe, holiday party:

* Remove ice and snow from walkways. Don’t get your party started on the wrong foot – literally. If you live in a part of the country that gets snow or ice storms, make sure to clear your walkways (sidewalks, driveways and entryways) and use de-icers to prevent falls that may lead to a personal injury lawsuit from a friend or neighbor.

* Put Rover in his kennel. While your dog (or cat) may be the best-trained animal in the world, it’s still an animal and you never know when your pet could potentially bite one of your guests.

* Handle fireworks with caution. Fireworks aren’t just for the Fourth of July anymore. More households are using fireworks year round to celebrate birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas and the New Year. Make sure to follow state and local fireworks ordinances and the manufacturer’s safety guidelines. Never allow children to use fireworks unless supervised by an adult.

* Put pricey or irreplaceable objects away. If you truly value that vase your husband bought you for your birthday, or that lamp that you purchased in Paris to celebrate your anniversary, put it out of the reach of your guests.

Alcohol is served at many, if not most, holiday parties. While alcohol consumption is popular, serving alcohol at your party signs you up for certain liabilities, according to You should know in advance what you could be held responsible for, and consider the following tips:

* Put fun first. Center your party around a fun activity instead of alcohol. For example, invite your guests to decorate holiday cookies, play a game like Trivial Pursuit, or go caroling.

* It’s still work-related. Instead of hosting a party at the office or a nearby restaurant, some small-business owners or business executives may host a holiday season party at their home. If it’s work-related, it’s work, which means that the host of the party needs to be aware of liability issues, like sexual harassment and drunken driving.

* Cut off the booze. Stop serving alcohol and offer other refreshments to your guests at least one hour before the party ends, and give guests nonalcoholic choices such as sparkling water or cider, soft drinks, hot cocoa or coffee from the very start. Keep in mind that nothing can sober up a person immediately, not even coffee, but protein and fat-filled foods, as well as noncarbonated drinks, can slow down the absorption of alcohol.

* 21 means 21. Don’t serve alcohol to anyone under the age of 21. If you do, or if your own child does at a holiday party for his or her friends, you could be charged with serving a minor and be held liable if the young adult is in a car accident involving another vehicle or pedestrian.

* Invite the kids. Inviting kids to a holiday party, even if most of your guests decide to leave the kiddies at home, puts a different spin on your party. Guests tend not to drink as much or abstain altogether, reducing your risk, and tend to leave earlier.

* Consider hiring a bartender. To make your holiday extra special, hire a bartender to serve drinks to your guests. A bartender can monitor how much your guests are drinking and can better control drinking by serving standard portions.

* Call a cab. Don’t hesitate to call a cab to take home a guest who has imbibed a bit too much. As the host of a party, you could be held liable if one of your guests gets into a car accident on the way home after an evening of drinking at your party.

For more information about the law that affects your everyday life, visit

By ARAcontent


About Gay Today

Editor of Gay Today